The Consumer Category
We bring you the chic and unique, the best and most bizarre shopping offers both online and offline. We offer you tips on where to buy, and some of the less mainstream and crazy, individual and offbeat items on the internet. Anything that can be bought and sold can be featured here. And we love showcasing the best and worst art and design.
I BOUGHT my first pair of Converse shoes aged 10. The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneaker was all man. It was also all woman. My sister got them first. But I don’t care. These wasn’t unisex shoes. This wasn’t like being called Lesley. Converse were just cool.
They have been ever semi-professional basketball player Chuck Taylor added his name to the Converse Rubber Company’s “All Star” shoe. Taylor was hired as a salesman. He would travel the US showcasing the shoes in basketball clinics. Chuck and his shoes were a hit.
The kids with no idea wore plimsoles to play. The ones with ideas but no clue wore Dunlop Green Flash. The cool kids had Converse.
Who wears them now? Anyone. Anywhere.
PROPERTY of the day is in London’s Islington zone:
Single Studio Available within walking distance of kings cross and Islington. This modern studio apartment comes complete and fully self contained With its own en-suite bathroom and kitchenette. Neutral deco and laminated floor boards through out.
And this is the best photo of it:
IT’S RARE for a product’s logo or package design to stay constant over the years. More often than not, they get a makeover every few years to keep up with the tastes of the times.
Comparing soda cans from decades past to the present, it’s immediately apparent that we no longer prefer simple elegant designs… that we prefer busy, hastily thrown together crap designs instead.
Mods, Rockers, Teds, Irish, Skinheads, Pikeys, Blacks And Jews: The People Banned From Anywhere Decent People Gather
FIFTY years ago, mods and rockers enjoyed the bank holiday weekend by fighting pitched battles at the seaside.
The skirmishes led to public vilification, and sociologists coined the phrase ‘moral panic’ to sum up the hysteria surrounding these modern delinquent ‘folk devils’.
SUCH a joy to be back among you, especially given the egregious state of blogging these days. I can but do my best, permitting you a glimpse of Arcati’s ancient soul which bubbles with spite and acuity and long memory, though I dress it all up in a sage’s garb and vocabulary of daunting endowment. Read the rest of this entry »
Yes, I shall be publishing a naked Prince Harry artwork – by a former mayor (only the best on Arcati). But before that exciting controversy, I wish to do what we all do these days – and offer you my ass.
Read the rest of this entry »
IN a story on how hotdogs are making a comeback to the street of London, the Evening Standard’s Danny Buckland speaks with the founder of a company called Bubbledogs, the eatery that “led the way with its breakthrough restaurant in Charlotte Street, which now attracts queues for tables”.
He speaks with Sandia Chang, who opened Bubbledogs:
“I think a lot of people were surprised because the last time they experienced hot dogs it was not very nice processed food. But we use 110 per cent beef or pork and it is a world away from the hot dogs of old. I think hot dogs will get even more popular and there will be more restaurants serving them.”
SENSE About Science is “a charitable trust that equips people to make sense of scientific and medical claims in public discussion”. Science matters. Government quote it when they want to control what you teach, eats and watch.
There are dangers in politicising science.
SAB sees “leading scientists, toxicologists and dieticians debunk common chemical misconceptions.” They’ve produced these posters about what we eat.
VIFIT is the dairy drink from Dutch company Friesland Campina that, if this advert is to be believed, will turn women who look at it into strippers and men who drink it off sex.
DID you watch the film 12 Years A Slave and think ‘ nice threads, dude’?
You did. Because someone at Sainsbury’s heard your mind whirring and started offering shoppers the chance to dress like a black slave in the American deep south. You don’t need to be black to get the look. Sure it helps. But we don’t doubt that Sainsbury’s sensitive shop assistants at its Heyford Hill, Oxford, branch can direct you to boot polish section.
AS early as the 1920s, art historian and junior doctor Hans Prinzhorn recognized the talent in his patients at the Heidelberg Psychiatric Clinic, and began collecting their works. The world-renowned Prinzhorn Collection at Heidelberg’s University Hospital now contains over 5,000 drawings, oil paintings, wood carvings and textile works.
ONCE upon a time, Guinness was gut fuhrer Nazi boys and girls. The drinks brand marketed the black brew to the black shirts with the slogan:
“Es ist Zeit für ein Guinneß!”
‘WE Go To The Gallery’ is artist Miriam Elia’s twist on Ladybird children’s books Peter & Jane.
IT’S a generally accepted bit of health woo that there are good animal fats and bad ones. The nice tasty kind, lard, beef dripping and so on are very bad for you: cause a heart attack as soon as you look at them. There’s also the good ones, like from fish, seal and whale blubber, known as Omega 3 fatty acids. These must be good for you because they taste like crap.
And thus we get thousands of people waxing rich on flogging us fish pills to protect our hearts.
There’s even some sciency bits behind this. For researchers did declare that Inuit (aka Eskimos to us less than PC types) had low levels of heart disease because they ate all that fish and whale blubber.
FEMININE hygiene adverts prior to the late 1960s basically depicted menstruation as a shameful curse, a sickening burden upon womankind. By the time the Baby Boomers started needing these products en masse, a revolution in feminine hygiene was underway. There was still a sense of shame in these adverts, but now it was all about offering new features (i.e. “It’s flushable!). While this may not be the most appealing topic you’ve ever read about, the advertising is still rather interesting and even a little humorous. Take a look at a few examples.
“Gotta Get This Tampon Out Of Sight!” – Pursettes
This tale of woe recounts the abominable shame experienced by a cheerleader when her purse hits the ground spilling out (gasp!) tampons. What should she do? Transferring to another school is such a hassle. Luckily, her friend has Pursettes which keep her shameful secret hidden under wraps. “Just call them the tote tampons.”
“That’s why so many women just like you are switching to it.” – Playtex Self-Adjusting Tampons
I love how this is supposed to be an empowering advertisement, yet it totally undermines itself by its list of stereotypically feminine careers. It’s attempting to illustrate that the Modern Woman has modern needs, and Playtex is just the product to keep up with the changing times. Yet, the various groups of women they list are downright hilarious: “Secretaries, Nurses, Stewardess, The Lady Next Door (WTF?), College Girls, Models, Housewives”. They left out waitresses and strippers.
“Dear Mother Nature: Drop Dead!” – Kotex
The last line reads: “At least you have to worry about your voice changing.” This is a consolation of the sorriest sort. Nearly a lifetime of menstruation versus a month or two of crackly vocal cords…. Hmmmm – which is worse? On a side note: the lens diameter-to-face ratio of those glasses is the largest I have ever seen. Simply breathtaking.
“It stayed in place, even when I was jumping streams.” – Stayfree Maxi Pads
That’s a bold woman – her first day with Stayfree Maxi Pads and she’s sticking her ass directly in his face? Just a thought: maybe he goes up the hill first. The ad ends with “Too bad he forgot to pack the lunch”. Maybe he didn’t forget – he just lost his appetite.
“If you’re old enough to pick your clothes, you’re old enough to pick your sanitary napkin.” – Modess
Advertisers aren’t stupid. They knew the Baby Boomers represented the largest population bubble in the history of the United States. Subsequently, ad agencies were scrambling to produce advertising geared toward this gargantuan money pot. The Modess advert above heavily features the new hippie chic whilst highlighting how grossly antiquated the older generation is. Do you want to buy your sanitary napkins based on the opinion of your crusty archaic mother who seems so hopelessly out of place amongst counter-culture swag? I didn’t think so.
“Whee! They’re Flushable, Too!” – New Freedom Kotex
Yet another advert marketed directly to Boomer youth. Truth be told, there actually was a lot to be excited about. If you’re familiar with the previous generations’ feminine hygiene equipment, you’ll know there was cause for celebration. That stuff was a bulky mess; it had barely improved from the Paleolithic days of using rolled grass and roots. It consisted of various rigging using straps and belts in conjunction with giant swaths of absorbent linens. You can see why a flushable inconspicuous napkin would be a godsend.
“It’s perfect for beginners like us!”Petal Soft Tampax
Petal Soft Tampax
This ad comes from a 1986 issue of 16 Magazine, about a year after Tampax broke the ultimate taboo on American television: It used the word “period”. Specifically the TV ad said, “It will change the way you feel about your period.”
When questioned about their startling expletive, the Tampax ad agency responded beautifully:
It’s a natural evolution. Over the past five years everyone has gotten more straightforward. It just doesn’t make sense any longer to show a woman in a long white dress, drifting through a field of wildflowers, saying something like, ‘It makes me feel fresh.’